Letters to the Editor

Minimum wage, water conservation, lobbying

Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, talks to reporters after conducting the third manual snow survey of the season at Phillips Station near Echo Summit.
Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program for the Department of Water Resources, talks to reporters after conducting the third manual snow survey of the season at Phillips Station near Echo Summit. The Associated Press

Don’t let poor people languish

Re “Local voices are ignored in wage talks” (Insight, Marcos Breton, March 30): Those local voices objecting to a minimum livable wage of $15 per hour are no doubt sincerely concerned about their bottom lines. A minimum wage at any level, of course, may require some adjustment and even hardship for some employers who have become accustomed to operating on the backs of drastically underpaid workers.

But Marcus Breton does a disservice to readers by presenting these voices without the context that wages represent only one cost pressure on employers. A few other examples include real-estate inflation, price competition, increased production and transportation costs, and competition for higher paid workers.

But businesses accept such cost pressures as obstacles to be overcome. The insidious idea that our lowest paid workers should be allowed to languish in poverty is not part of a “culture of job growth” as Breton calls it, but a shameful culture of indifference and callousness toward the working poor.

John Adkisson, Sacramento

Let’s level the ‘paying’ field

As a small-business owner, I’m happy to see California moving to a statewide $15 minimum wage. This will be good for businesses and workers.

When workers are paid more, they’re able to spend more at local businesses. When workers have enough money to take care of themselves and their families, they are also less likely to miss work due to illness and lack of child care or a broken-down car they can’t afford to repair. They are less likely to utilize taxpayer-funded assistance like food stamps and Medicaid to make up for inadequate wages. Our communities and our economy will be healthier.

Forward-thinking businesses already understand the value of a fair minimum wage, and I look forward to paying a wage that helps level the playing field for companies across the state. Raising the minimum wage is a smart investment for the future of California’s economy.

Sattie Clark,

Redwood Valley

Conserving water remains a must

Re “Healthy Sierra snowpack – but no ‘drought buster’ ” (Page 1A, March 31): A few years of healthy precipitation won’t be enough to bust California’s drought. According to the USDA drought monitor, 91 percent of the state is still in moderate drought, 55 percent in extreme drought and 35 percent in exceptional drought.

With global warming increasing water demand and decreasing supply through effects like increased evaporation, drought will be an ongoing reality for California. We need to confront this reality through more efficient water consumption, and also by mitigating the problem by slowing climate change. This will require the nation to follow California’s lead by putting a price on carbon pollution.

Dana Nuccitelli, West Sacramento

Solve both water problems

Re “California high water should be captured” (Insight, March 23): Dan Walters is right that we need more storage capacity. But we also need better flood control. Here are three ways to do both at a reasonable price.

▪ Use Folsom Lake and Rancho Seco Lake for water storage in summer and flood control in winter. Water would flow in the appropriate direction via the Folsom South Canal.

▪  Build a 5-mile-long canal from Rancho Seco to Camanche Reservoir, and use it the same way: Water storage in the summer and flood control in winter.

▪ Finally, build the Auburn dam and include it in an effective and affordable water-transfer program for the Sacramento area.

Michael Lindeman, Penryn

An honorable profession

Re “Sac State class offers lessons in lobbying” (Insight, March 29): As president of the Institute of Governmental Advocates, I take strong exception to the tone of this article, which contains a line from Richie Ross saying, “Because we’re teaching you about lobbying in class, cheating is OK.”

Although Ross acknowledged that he was “joking with his class” the article creates an erroneous perception that cheating and other ethical misconduct are commonplace and accepted in the lobbying profession.

For more than 40 years, the IGA has represented the interests of the 2,260 registered lobbyists in California. Its members subscribe to a strict code of conduct that prohibits cheating, conflicts of interest and other unethical practices.

Christy Bouma,

Sacramento

What’s the difference?

Re “Despite end to Apple fight, more privacy battles loom” (Insight, March 30): If you can get a warrant to tap someone’s telephone, then why not a warrant to unlock an iPhone?

William J. Hughes,

Sacramento

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